The NBA's trade deadline is this Thursday, and as is the norm for this time of year, trade rumors are flying. With general managers able to use the post All-Star game break to fully focus on potential moves, from now until the deadline is generally when deals get done.
The Los Angeles Lakers have not been involved in a ton of trade rumors, but the team has reportedly made starting center Roy Hibbert available to interested teams. Hibbert has averaged 6.6 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks while shooting 44.4 percent from the field during the 2015-16 season with the Lakers after the team acquired him in a trade with the Indiana Pacers this summer. The team has additionally been better on both ends when Roy is on the bench, according to NBA.com.
With statistics like that meaning that Hibbert and his $15.6 million expiring contract probably hold very little value around the league, a trade seems unlikely at best. However, Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders reported on Tuesday that Hibbert might be amenable to a buyout should the Lakers be unable to find a suitor for his services on the trade market.
Would the Lakers actually buy out the big man? The seven-year veteran has taken to his role as a locker room mentor fo the younger Lakers with aplomb, but if he truly desires to try and find another team that would potentially give him a chance to contribute to a playoff run and is willing to give the Lakers a discount on his salary in order to do so, the team very well could buy out the remainder of his contract. Such a move would also keep the team in the good graces of Hibbert's representatives, if he does indeed desire to leave.
If Hibbert is either traded or bought out, it will end a disappointing tenure for both himself and the team in Los Angeles, and ultimately it may be best for both sides to part ways.
All stats per NBA.com. You can follow this author on Twitter at @hmfaigen.